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Jack Dangermond


Jack DangermondDoctor of Science (honoris causa)

Mr. President, I have the honor of presenting Jack Dangermond, businessman, scientist, and a founding father of Geographic Information Systems technology.

Mr. Dangermond, in 1969 you co-founded with your wife Laura the Environmental Systems Research Institute, which you have built into the largest GIS software developer in the world. The company has grown around your enduring vision that computer mapping and analysis can help us design a better future by being used as a tool to address urban, regional, environmental and global problems. Under your leadership, the company is creating cutting-edge GIS and GeoDesign technologies employed in every industry to make a difference worldwide. Your work’s influence is felt in every corner of the earth.

Launching any company is a challenge; there is always an element of risk and the specter of possible failure. But to nurture a company as you have for 42 years, and evolve it from a modest research group based in your hometown of Redlands, California, into a successful international enterprise employing 2,700 people in the U.S. is a testament to your drive, your talents, and your ability to wed your passion for GIS with your willingness to seize opportunities.

Mr. Dangermond, we here at Clark share your passion for GIS. Indeed, we have made it a cornerstone of our own Graduate School of Geography, which the National Research Council recently recognized as offering one of the very best Ph.D. programs in the United States. We were pleased to welcome you to Worcester in 2007 for a symposium on GIS and Sustainability Science, we are delighted to have you back on campus today, and we look forward to collaborating with you in the years ahead as an “honorary colleague” in our efforts to ensure a greater geographic sensibility in American society.

Mr. President, on behalf of the Trustees, faculty, students and staff at Clark University, it gives me great pleasure to request that the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, be conferred upon Mr. Jack Dangermond.